Night in Leverone Fieldhouse

Title: Night in Leverone Fieldhouse

General Information:

  • Customary: Ritual
  • English
  • USA

Informant Data:

Charles James “CJ” Murphy was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on November 16, 1994. He is a 22-year-old student at Dartmouth College currently in his senior year. Growing up, he was an avid outdoorsman, and as such was very excited to participate in the Dartmouth Outing Clubs First-Year Trips program in the lead-up to freshman year. He was on the “Climb and Hike” trip.

Contextual Data: 

This ritual was experienced by the informant during his First-Year Trip. After arriving in Hanover and meeting his trip leaders and fellow “trippees,” the remainder of the day was spent playing games with his group and receiving instructions on what to expect and how to behave on trips, primarily through elaborate song and dance. After the activities of the first day had concluded, his trip section was told to gather all of their belongings and were led to Leverone Fieldhouse.


Rather than having students spend the first night of trips in their respective dorm rooms before leaving campus, the entire trip section is brought into Leverone Fieldhouse. Each trip group is assigned an isolated plot of the field and students unpack their bags so the trip leaders can check to see that everyone has the necessary clothing and equipment. Leaders also divide the groups food and supplies evenly and distribute them for each trippee to carry in their pack. Students set up their sleeping bags on the ground and trip groups engage in more bonding exercises until the lights are turned off around 9pm and students attempt to sleep.

Informant’s Comments:

The informant was highly surprised by the sleeping arrangements of the first night, and was specifically confused as to why there was such great emphasis placed on the segregation of trip groups once inside Leverone Fieldhouse. There was one other freshman on his trip section that was a friend of his from home, and when he tried to walk across the Fieldhouse to chat with him, his trip leader forced him to immediately come back. He said he barely slept that night.

Collector’s Comments:

This ritual embodies the separation stage of the rites of passages. Not only is the entire section of freshmen secluded from campus in a closed off space, but even within these confines the various trip groups are forced to be isolated from one another. There is an emphasis on leaving one’s comfort zone and preparing to bond with your trippees in the solitude of the wilderness.

Collector’s Name: Tommy Kaminsky


  • Customary Lore, Ritual; Rites of Passage, Separation

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